Developing through relationships with the physical and social environment: disentangling the transition from co-regulation to self-regulation

PhD Thesis


Perapoch Amado, M. 2024. Developing through relationships with the physical and social environment: disentangling the transition from co-regulation to self-regulation. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8xx0w
AuthorsPerapoch Amado, M.
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

The present thesis centres its attention on early regulatory skills of physiological arousal and attention. These abilities play a central role during early infancy and are crucial for achieving autonomy and establishing the foundation for later social, behavioural, and cognitive development.

Early in development, infant’s self-regulatory capacities are thought to be immature, poorly coordinated, and limited. Because of this, co-regulation with the caregiver is particularly important. Much of the infant/ child research emphasizes the developmental increase in self-regulation and highlights a gradual transition from co-regulation (where regulatory processes are shared between child and caregiver) to self-regulation. Research on this transition, however, is scarce and complex and remarkably little is known on how these co-regulatory dynamics between infant-caregiver change and evolve over time.

Taking a novel, multi-method approach that integrates neural, physiological, and behavioural techniques and uses a mixture of home- and naturalistic lab-based research, the present thesis examines the development of self- and co- regulatory processes in infancy. More specifically, it explores whether infants’ physiological and attentional states gradually become less dependent on others as they get better at self-regulation over developmental time.

Evidence is presented showing developmental changes in the way environmental factors (both physical and social) influence infants’ regulation of physiological arousal and attention. Evidence also shows that, contrary to our hypothesis, dyadic strategies, rather than being phased out or replaced, seem to continue to play an important role.
Discussion is focused on the contribution of the findings to theories of the development of dyadic regulatory process, and in identifying new and more naturalistic ways to study them.

Keywordsregulation; early development; parent-infant dyad; dynamic system theory; naturalistic research; physiology; arousal; attention; EEG
Year2024
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8xx0w
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Publication dates
Online19 Jun 2024
Publication process dates
Completed22 May 2024
Deposited19 Jun 2024
Copyright holder© 2024, The Author
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Related outputs

The neural and physiological substrates of real-world attention change across development.
Perapoch Amado, M., Greenwood, E., White, J., Labendzki, P., Marriott Haresign, I., Northrop, T., Phillips, E., Viswanathan, N., Whitehorn, M., Jones, E. and Wass, S. 2024. The neural and physiological substrates of real-world attention change across development. eLife. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.92171.2